The incident happened about 12:15 a.m. Sept. 17 in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
The woman with a syringe, described as a white woman in her late 20s with shoulder-length dirty blonde hair, was walking with a man about the same age who was wearing a baseball hat.
As they walked by the victim and his girlfriend on the sidewalk, the victim “felt a sharp prick and stabbing puncture to his left tricep,” according to a police report. The woman made the HIV comment while looking directly at him, the victim told police.
The man saw blood from where the syringe needle had penetrated his arm, police said, and “he then became traumatized by what had just happened,” an office wrote in the incident report.
Neither the victim nor his girlfriend could find the suspect or the man she was walking with. The victim’s girlfriend also heard the comment about HIV. Police believe the incident was unprovoked.
The victim was treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Police said Tuesday afternoon they did not know if the man had been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
“We’ve never heard of anything like this in Seattle before,” Seattle Police Detective Patrick Michaud said. “There have been reports of something similar in other cities but nothing like this here.
“And hopefully this is a very isolated incident.”
Police checked the area for surveillance cameras and found some, “but the owners all stated they did not work,” according to the report.
“We still have no idea who this person may have been,” Michaud said.
While the victim went to Harborview Medical Center, the incident was not reported to police until Sept. 19 – two days after the incident. Police said they encourage people to report crimes as soon as possible after being treated.
"Hopefully, this was just somebody with a very poor sense of humor trying to scare someone in a way that is totally inappropriate," Michaud said.